Health is defined in the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) as ‘a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity’ (WHO, 1948, p. 1). As this holistic definition suggests, there are numerous factors that may have an impact on a disabled person’s health status. These include personal characteristics, such as age, gender, type and severity of impairment, past experiences, behaviour patterns and family circumstances. They also include a wide range of environmental influences, such as living and working conditions, cultural beliefs and practices, the strength of community support networks and the availability of affordable and accessible healthcare services.